“Neither one of us saw harm in using imagination to make our day a little brighter.”

Several years ago I worked with a man named Kurt Rogers. Kurt had a unique and humorous way of looking at life.

He told me a funny story about a young boy asking what he did for a living.

“I work on shuttles son!”

Kurt said the youngster was all ears.

“Yesterday, I worked on two of them.”

The boy quickly darted away to tell his parents.

Kurt was a heavy equipment mechanic for the State of Alaska. The shuttles he referred to merely shuttled, or spread sand from a huge pile onto area roads and streets. Commonly the devices were called sanders.

Kurt Rogers had an imagination as big as mine; perhaps larger. Neither one of us saw harm in using imagination to make our day a little brighter.

Several years after the shuttle story, Kurt was involved in a horrific explosion. One of the sanders he was working on had a fuel tank explosion. It was a miracle that he survived.

In spite of terrible burns and other serious injuries, Kurt still carried a keen sense of humor through it all. He often joked that he’d not be winning any most handsome man awards like in the past.

Kurt Rogers

When my children were young, I had my own way of making simple things seem large and important. After both were in the car or truck, I’d ask if they were ready to blastoff? That meant having their seat belts on. Only after all belts were securely fastened did I touch the ignition. I continued using the countdown even when they were in their teens.

When Gunnar and Miranda were in college, I still quietly counted down before starting the engine. It’d become habit by then. Eventually, I added a personalized plate to our truck with the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 numbers. That lasted for several years until Joleen asked me to remove them. People inquired much too often on what the numbers meant. Some were totally confused.

Instead of telling a lengthy story, it became faster saying our license plate number was easy to remember.

Sadly, Kurt Rogers is gone. The shuttles are now being maintained by other trained technicians. Kurt’s most likely amusing people in Heaven with his clever anecdotes. My two children have kids of their own now. Hopefully they utilize the blastoff term like me, to turn a mundane car ride into a rocket trip to the moon. Some people say that imagination is hereditary. I hope it is!

Recently, I came across a pair of those 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 license plates in a box. Although they’re no longer legal, they were slapped on my car for sentimental reasons. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I thought back to those days of having little ones in the back seat.

“Are we ready for blastoff?”

Hearing no response, I assumed all systems were go.

Today’s unplanned solo mission is a trip to the grocery store for milk.

All systems are go.


“My opponent had stuffed the ballot box!”

There are cheaters everywhere in life. Most everyone has bumped into one or more of these unscrupulous characters over time. I’ve encountered my share.

There’s even a reality television show called, Cheaters. The overly dramatic show deals with love relationships gone sour. It’s not what I’d call uplifting entertainment.

It seems cheaters are most prevalent in sports. There are so many documented instances of cheating in baseball, football, and automobile racing alone, that books could be written on the subject.

My favorite example of cheating comes from the late Chrysler CEO, Lee Iacocca’s book, IACOCCA – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

The savvy businessman tells a story about his early life, that in my opinion relates to what’s happening in our current presidential election.

I’ve included several paragraphs that tell the full story. I believe this incident played a part in Lee Iacocca not entering politics.


Looking back now, I remember certain episodes from my childhood that forced me to reckon with how the adult world operated. When I was in the sixth grade, there was an election for captain of the student patrol. The patrolmen all wore white belts with a silver badge, but the lieutenant and the captain got to wear special uniforms with special badges. In grade school, the captain of the student patrol was the equivalent of the high school quarterback. I loved the idea of wearing that uniform, and I was determined to be the captain.

When the vote came in, I had lost to another kid by a margin of twenty-two to twenty. I was bitterly disappointed. The following day I was at a Saturday matinee at the local theater, where we used to see Tom Mix movies.

In the row ahead of me sat the biggest kid in our class. He turned around and saw me. “You dumb wop,” he said. “You lost the election.”

“I know,” I said. “But why are you calling me a dummy?”

“Because,” he said. “There are only thirty-eight kids in the class. But forty-two voted. Can’t you dagos even count?”

My opponent had stuffed the ballot box! I went to the teacher and told her that some students voted twice.

“Let’s leave well enough alone,” she said to me. She covered it up. She didn’t want any scandals. That incident had a profound effect on me. It was my first dramatic lesson that life wasn’t always going to be fair.


For the past several years, underhanded Democrat politicians have fraudulently been playing the same cheating game that Lee Iacocca incurred in grade school. To put it bluntly, they’ve attempted to make it easy for most anyone or anything to vote. They don’t care if a voter is a legal resident of the United States, or a felon criminal. Under the Democrat plan, ballots from hardened pedophiles would be most welcome.

The last few days have shown us corruption in the counting of ballots akin to what Lee Iacocca viewed as a child. Votes for Democrat politicians from people that died, Republican ballots not counted, more ballots coming in than sent out, ballots lost, and ballots seemingly coming from outer space.

I saw this coming years ago. Many other informed and open-minded citizens did as well; President Trump and his team especially so.

There are some leftist politicians and liberal news people now calling for President Trump to concede. These folks are of the same spineless moral fiber as Lee Iacocca’s teacher. To them, a win is a win no matter how unlawful it came to be.

Thankfully, President Donald Trump, and millions of his constituents are solidly against him tossing in the towel. They stand firmly behind the man and are ready to fight.

I expect Joe Biden to ultimately come out on top where total bogus numbers are concerned. The old saying, “Figures lie and liars figure!” definitely rings true here.

Ultimately, I believe this presidential election will be decided by the United States Supreme Court. I have a good feeling regarding the outcome. Thankfully, Trumps legitimate victory won’t be swept under a rug like Mr. Iacocca’s childhood victory was.

I venture to say that if a Donald Trump had been in Lee Iacocca’s shoes in sixth grade, he would’ve ended up wearing that Captain’s uniform with special badge!


“Most people think of meek as being weak.”

The seven Johnston’s

I’ve been around long enough to see discrimination up close and personal. The first encounter dealt with black people. My first recollection of this would’ve been around 1960. It was a sign on a small Selma restaurant window proclaiming, NEGROS NOT SERVED. According to my late mother, after watching a small black boy turned away, I asked her,


Since that time I’ve seen gay people shunned, those of Asian descent, Mexicans, Filipinos, Indians, Jewish, Christians, homeless, fat people, skinny people, senior citizens, the list goes on and on.

Perhaps one group of folks discriminated against most are dwarfs. You never hear about it because they’re quiet and the media doesn’t make hoopla over such. They’ve been looked upon as different going back to the beginning of time. Little people were often the highlight of circus acts. Sometimes they were advertised on carnival billboards as freaks of nature.

One thing I’ve noticed about little people is that they never take their discrimination to the streets. Not once have I seen them protesting or being rebellious. Why is that? In this day and age it seems they have as much right as anyone to do so. Some might say they’re meek or afraid to speak up. I highly doubt that. Although small in size, they seem large in wisdom.

Most people think of meek as being weak. The Bible mentions in Matthew 5: 5 that the meek shall inherit the world. Does that mean that weak people will take control of the universe? I had to research this verse to see exactly what it means.

spiritually meek person is not self-willed – not continually concerned with his or her own ways, ideas and wishes. They are willing to put themselves in second place and submit themselves to achieve what is good for others.

Meekness is therefore the antithesis of self-will, self-interest, and self-assertiveness. Meek people don’t envy, don’t retaliate, and exercise patience in the face of adversity.

When I was a child, I learned right off the bat that throwing a temper tantrum would not get me what I wanted.  I received more in the way of toys, snacks, and play time from my parents if I was obedient. Meekness played a big part there.

The late Martin Luther King, Jr. believed peaceful protests were the most productive. He practiced what he preached. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I used King’s method to my advantage with my parents. When I resorted to throwing a fit it resulted in more harm than good. Being meek under the Biblical principle oftentimes rewarded me. Dr. King definitely knew this where civil rights issues were concerned.

Evidently someone needs to educate current day protesters about Martin Luther King’s beliefs. Using obscenity in the streets along with violence and mayhem will not garner what they seek. It will ultimately make things worse.

Dwarfs seem to naturally understand this ideology. The Bible makes mention of it but I doubt rebellious protesters read that book. If Martin Luther King Jr. was still alive, he’d set them straight, or at least give it a good try!

American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery.


“Several weeks ago I decided to break my chains and grab a handful of disobedient freedom that folks speak so highly of.”

Bill Batey

“I’m Bill Batey and I approve of this message!”

I’ve been reading about all this here controversy regarding masks. Can’t tell you one way or the other how I feel about such? Some claim it’s a “freedom” or “constitutional” issue. I can side with them or disagree as well. Does it really matter at this point?

Several weeks ago I decided to break my chains and grab a handful of disobedient freedom that folks speak so highly of.

“Go for the gusto!” as they say in Milwaukee.

I love to speed. Always have and always will! Signs, cops, and fines have been the main reasons I don’t. One Saturday morning on the way to Wal-Mart I decided to flex my truck’s muscles a bit. We’re talking 250 horses here.

“Let’r rip potato chip,” a deceased friend of mine always said.

Took the old Ford up to 85 in a 45. It felt good!

Pulling in to Wally World an hour later, I noticed a vacant spot right by the front door. Ignoring a large red and black NO PARKING sign, I wheeled on in.

Folks near the entry were putting on masks. I totally ignored that sign including another informing customers of NO SMOKING. With a lit match in my shaky hand, I fired off a big fat stogie. Smoking and shopping go together like Chevrolet, America, and homemade apple pie!

I quickly found the items I needed, and before checking out, decided to take a whiz first. Sign at the restroom door said NO MERCHANDISE PAST THIS POINT. Heck, that didn’t pertain to me. Not on this day of total freedom it didn’t!

A sign above the sink made mention of employees having to wash hands before leaving restroom. That didn’t stop this old gopher from walking out beforehand.

After paying for my goods, I rolled them to the pickup and loaded up. On the way I observed another sign asking customers to please return carts to cart racks.

“No way Jose!”

Slowly driving away, I watched that cart slowly disappear in my rear view mirror. It resembled a shimmering chrome basket in a sea of black asphalt. I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Freedom!,” I mumbled to myself. That’s what my solitary Saturday morning protest was all about.

The speeding ticket cost $300.00, plus I now have to attend defensive driving school. Wal-Mart dropped all charges as long as I stay out of their store. Unfortunately, city ordinances regarding smoking in public places couldn’t be waved. That’ll set me back $2000.00.

As far as masks go, all employees and guests in the hospital sport one. I suppose when or if I ever crawl out from under this ventilator, I’ll be instructed to wear a facial covering. Bandannas might not be so constraining. Cowboys wore them in the movies.

Doc Brown informed me just yesterday evening,

“You’ve come a long way, Batey. In another four weeks you might just kick this Covid 19 and go home!”

You know, people can protest ’til the cows return. For me, getting out of this joint will be freedom enough to last a lifetime!


“I mentioned to my friend that if you had a team made up of just black players, and one of white, that he’d undoubtedly root for the black guys.”

Perfectly cloned men

work in progress

Hypothetically speaking, if everyone in the world was brown, would there be racial prejudice? I thought about this as a young person finding no definite answer. It’s taken many years for me to finally come to the conclusion, that yes, prejudice would be alive and well even if all people were brown.

Eye color would be the next thing some discriminatory folks would go after. If all eyes were deep blue you’d think the problem would be solved? Not so. Height is another area to critique.

Create all people in this world a perfect 5’ 10” and things would be hunky dory? Sounds logical but it doesn’t hold water. There are numerous other areas to consider.

Language is a huge barrier so lets make Spanish the solitary dialect. This could be obtainable with a lot of effort although it might take a thousand years to get there. Now that we’re all brown, have blue eyes, and can speak the same lingo, things would be perfect? Hold on one minute, social class would come into play next.

Some folks having lots of money would look down on those less fortunate and vice versa. According to leftists experts, and I use expert loosely here, the playing field could be evened by introducing socialism, even though such has been tried with complete failure.

With socialism, someone smart and investing their funds wisely could easily gain advantage over the unwise crowd. Extra money would then be taken from them and distributed to all. Financial savvy socialists would definitely have prejudice towards the unwise population by this action.

Those having hair and not having hair can be added to the list. I could go on and on here.

It seems that prejudice can only be totally eliminated by having everyone cloned perfectly the same. In doing so, mindset would have to be equal as well. What a wonderful world that would be.

Several years ago, I told a black friend that prejudice was much like football. He didn’t quite get it until I further explained.

Eddie’s favorite football team is the Oakland Raiders, and mine the Miami Dolphins. I informed Eddie that color has a lot to do with team choice, and not so much the city where a team’s located. This has been proven. The black and silver of the Raiders is aggressive in nature. The white and teal green of the Dolphins not so much.

Raider’s fans have always been one of the more vocal in NFL. Oakland Raider’s supporters have been known to mix it up a bit before and after games. I can’t say the same of Miami Dolphins’ fan base. Perhaps that has a lot to do with how the fish have fared these past 20 years.

I told Eddie that if all football teams wore white, the rivalry would lessen, and that it all wore black, it would increase. Red is also an aggressive color. If you don’t believe me ask a bull or a cop.

I mentioned to my friend that if you had a NFL team made up of strictly black players, and one of white, that he’d undoubtedly root for the black guys. Thinking about it for several seconds and being honest, Eddie agreed.

I told him I’d root for the white, although I’d try not to show my bias. People inherently have a tendency to cheer for their race. There’s nothing wrong with that.

When I asked Eddie what he thought of two teams playing each other, where all athletes were white, and both teams sported white and teal uniforms his reply was,

You’re describing one boring event!”

When I turned things around using African-American players, wearing black and silver jerseys he responded,

That’d be one awesome game!”

I was hoping Eddie would say that. That gave me the opportunity to finalize my analogy,

You sound a bit racist.”

My harsh remark caught him totally off guard. He seemed angry, yet quickly chilled at the notion. Had Eddie not saw my reasoning for the statement I was prepared to duck.

Unless further generations become perfectly cloned which is impossible, I don’t believe prejudice will ever go away in our society. Much like rivalries between sports teams, the best we can hope for is to control such.

Oakland Raiders


“I doubt most folks knew what they were doing to the poor animals inside.”

Western Arizona Humane Society – 2610 Sweetwater – Lake Havasu City, Arizona

I love fireworks as much as anyone. The vivid,splintering -colors and booming explosions are mind numbing. There is a place for such activities though, and it’s not directly around the new Western Arizona Humane Society (WAHS) building.

I live a block away from this beautiful facility. Not once have I heard an animal bark or cry from that direction until several nights ago (July 4th). Illegal fireworks were being set off next to the structure in a vacant field, including all around the area. Many people took part with a good many driving to the area.

I doubt most folks knew what they were doing to the poor animals inside. Across Highway 95, on Maricopa, “commercial grade’ fireworks were exploding high overhead. This went on for several hours. The concussions were loud enough to rattle home windows. Stepping outside, and walking over to the shelter, I could hear dogs barking and howling out of mortified fear through the thick, well-insulated walls.

Thankfully, a L.H.P.D. officer stopped by and informed people in the dirt lot about this situation. The group was kind enough to move their festivities farther down the street. Not so with those on Maricopa, Osborn, Sweetwater, including other side streets. The last explosion was at 2:05 a.m. I know, because I was up tending to my own dog.

Next year, hopefully there’s a concentrated effort to curb firework displays close to the Western Arizona Humane Society building. I’m sure WAHS Director Patty Gilmore would be appreciative, and I know without doubt the animals inside that place would be as well. They are unable to speak out so I’m doing it for them. Please do it for “Boomer” and the rest of his furry pals.

Thank you!


“From what witnesses said, several rioters claimed that Bob had been a member of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.”

A Bob’s “Big Boy” statue in El Segundo, California was the scene of a peaceful protest turned violent late Wednesday afternoon.

Berta Butz, a local El Segundo resident, said that demonstrators were marching peacefully for an unknown cause when one young man, believed to be an ANTIFA member on crack, attacked Big Boy and began yelling racial epithets at him. Others quickly joined in.

From what witnesses said, several rioters claimed that Bob had been a member of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Other protesters began taunting the lifeless statue.

The angry group then tossed a rope over his fiberglass body and attempted to pull it down by hand. Unable to do so, they fastened their rope to the rear bumper of a protester’s Kia automobile. When the vehicle bumper came flying off, a larger Ford truck took over.

As Big Boy tumbled cheers were heard and fists raised in the air. Afterwards, one of the protesters was interviewed by an El Segundo reporter. When informed that Big Boy wasn’t actually born until 1954, and that the Civil War didn’t end until 1865, she replied to him,

“You’re kidding me, right?”

So far police have refused to press charges. When asked why, one officer wishing to remain anonymous said,

“There are no laws on the books for being stupid!”

Other than a few scrapes and scratches, Big Boy was not seriously damaged. Within minutes of the protester’s departure, a small group of senior citizens converged and had the big kid standing on his pedestal like nothing ever happened.

More as this story develops.


“It’s all a conspiracy. This Covid crap is just another stinkin’ flu!”

“Big Don” Dimbo

No one was going to tell “Big Don” Dimbo he had to wear a mask in the grocery store. After all, the man served his country for 22-years and freedom was important to him. He’d told that young fella at the door where to stick it when suggested he use some type face covering.

Browsing in the produce section, “Big Don” ran into his cardiologist, Dr. Paul Wagner.

“How’s it going Don?, the doctor politely asked. Shouldn’t you be wearing a mask?”

“Big Don” went into a full 5-minute spiel on how masks didn’t work, how constraining they were, and no one was going to take his freedom away by forcing him to wear one. He ended his tirade by claiming,

“It’s all a conspiracy. This Covid crap is just another stinkin’ flu!”

Dr. Wagner could only smile and wish him the best before leaving.

Two weeks passed before “Big Don” was rushed to Harborview Medical Center with chest pains. Tests showed that he had several blocked arteries. Bypass surgery was immediately performed.

A couple of day later, Dr. Wagner walked into Don’s hospital room to check on him.

Did you see the video of your procedure?

Yes I did.” Don replied. “Thanks for the great work. By the way, I noticed in the film you didn’t have on a mask. What’s with that?

“Good observation Don! You put me at risk in the grocery store so I thought I’d return the favor. You were right about that freedom thing, it’s so less constraining.”

Before leaving, Dr. Wagner had one last thing to tell his patient.

“By the way, after your surgery it was discovered I’m asymptomatic. I tested positive to carrying a virus of sorts. They’re running tests. I’m sure it’ll turn out to be nothing more than another stinkin’ flu. I wouldn’t worry about it unless of course, you develop a cough, runny nose, aches and pains, or a fever!”

“Big Don” Dimbo


“Call me insensitive, but I’m all for whatever drastic action it takes to get inebriated drivers off the road.”

The drunk driver of this “bullet” survived impact with tree, but not before an innocent child was struck by it and killed. (1939)

Not once do I recall people protesting or rioting in the streets, after the needless death or deaths caused by a drunk driver.

The media has never pushed for such drastic action, nor have specific political, ethnic, race, or religious groups. No liquor stores have been torched or looted as well. That seems absolutely amazing to me!

Some might say M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) adequately voiced their concerns. Yes, they did to a point, but never to the level of being carried on all major television station for hours on end . How much attention do you suppose M.A.D.D. would’ve received had they set fire to Donnie’s Drive-thru Liquor Store? I doubt if it would’ve made the news at all.

I’ve always thought that drunk drivers get off way too easy for taking a life. After all, it’s nothing more than murder. Any time you see or hear of police taking an intoxicated driver off the street, be thankful. That arrested person was behind the wheel of a loaded weapon, one way more powerful than a 44 Magnum. In other words, a car or truck in a drunk driver’s hands is nothing short of a giant “bullet”.

Inebriated drivers are a mere gas pedal away from planting a loved one six-feet-under. Be especially thankful the deceased isn’t your son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, or friend.
It seems society is way too protective of drunk drivers. They’re coddled in my opinion. All it takes is a good lawyer to put them back on the road with an open bottle.

Call me insensitive, but I’m all for whatever drastic action it takes to get inebriated drivers off the road.

I’d much rather see them take a proverbial bullet, than for any of my family or friends taking theirs.

Drunk driver of the darker car in background struck and seriously injured several people including killing a 2-year-old child.


“If everyone chips in $25.00 for gas we’ll head back out tomorrow.”

Lawrence Everett (1954 – 2014)

I worked with Lawrence Everett in Alaska for over 25 years. We were not only co-workers, but good friends. Sadly, he passed away of a sudden heart attack soon after retiring in 2014.

I’d like to share a story that Lawrence told us guys one day at lunch. This was after he returned home from a Texas vacation. You’ll have to read between the lines to catch Lawrence’s dry sense of humor.



Most of the Everett family lived in Texas. When they all got together, a few nephews made mention of Lawrence being,

“Our rich uncle from Alaska.”

Every few years he’d fly to Texas and visit them.

On this particular trip, Lawrence jetted to ‘The Lonestar State’ via commercial airline, quickly making arrangements for his cousins, nephews, and brother to go fishing at Lake Texarkana.

He prearranged to rent a boat for the day, splurged for a large rental car to get them all there, forked over cash for needed fishing gear and bait, licenses for those needing one, including food and drink.

They fished most of the morning before stopping at noon to grill some rib-eye steaks. After eating, Lawrence and his entourage went back out for the rest of the afternoon. Driving home that night the men were flat tuckered out. One of his kin piped up,

That was the most fun I’ve had in ages. Wish we could do it again!”

Lawrence informed the man that they could. There was one simple stipulation,

“If everyone chips in $25.00 for gas we’ll do it again tomorrow.”

That’s all he expected them to pay for.

Dead silence. Lawrence said he quickly dropped the subject.

A co-worker immediately asked,

“What did you guys do the rest of your vacation?”

Lawrence didn’t hesitate before replying.

“I’m not sure what they did? I left for Austin the next morning and had a great time. Saved a couple thousand bucks by doing so!”


The whole room erupted in laughter. Most everyone had experienced similar situations in their own lives.

Straight faced throughout, not once did Lawrence crack a smile during his spiel. He was what I call,

“A master story teller.”

Lawrence didn’t like having his picture taken as can be seen in this photo. He wanted me to delete it. I’m glad I didn’t.